We can’t believe we’re writing this but we’re actually getting our chance to play The Last Guardian after nearly ten years of waiting. We thought we’d never see the next iteration of the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus storyline so we’re crazy excited about this. Also making a return is Final Fantasy 15 after a decade of development. All things old are new again it seems like. Hell even Crash Bandicoot is garnering headlines after a revival was announced at the recent Playstation Experience.
This got us thinking, what other long dormant games would we like to see show up again? Here now are 5 classic old school games (that no one is talking about) that should come back.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
We’re not quite sure how Zombies Ate My Neighbors retains such a cult status today while its sequel, Ghoul Patrol, was largely ignored – apparently Ghoul Patrol was actually a separate game but rushed to release and billed as a sequel after Zombies received moderate success. The game’s core mechanics of cooperative action and insane enemy ranks (remember the giant baby?) worked incredibly well. The game ended up being one of the best games for the SNES, which already had an exhaustive list of classic games.
Couch coop shooters against monsters continue to live on in games like Left 4 Dead or Warhammer: End of Times – Vermintide, but we say it’s time for a true Zombies Ate My Neighbors 2. Unfortunately since Lucasarts is now defunct, this will likely never happen.
In the 90s there were a flood of rudimentary point and click adventures made impressive through the use of full motion video (FMV) or prerendered scenes. 7th Guest… The Harvester… Bad Mojo… They just kept coming for a while but we always had a soft spot for the camp of the Phantasmagoria series with their outlandish death cutscenes and, well, “Skinemax” sequences that popped up surprisingly in the sequel.
Now is the perfect time for a series like this to make a return. They could even TellTale’s proven formula of episode content like the Walking Dead or wholly adopt a tongue-in-cheek tone of current shows like Ash vs. Evil Dead or Stan Against Evil. Do some basic stunt casting of a Baldwin brother towards the end of the alphabet (a Stephen or William perhaps), toss in some replayable moments, and an element of something R rated like a heroine running around in a towel, you’re done. After all it worked for Until Dawn.
“Big money! Big prizes! I love it!” All of these years later I can still distinctly hear the booming announcer of Smash TV that thunderously echoed over every arcade I ever visited. Smash TV was the video game equivalent of Running Man with the humor of Robocop (“I’d buy that for a dollar!”). Smash TV was one of our first twin stick shooter experiences and the fact that it was designed for coop meant it got a lot of attention from us growing up.
The follow up, Total Carnage, was visually stunning in its own right but always ended up frustrating us because we could never make it into the infamous Pleasure Dome. Regardless, the original’s game show aesthetic was a better format for this chaos that a non-descript warscape. The fact there has not been a follow up seems like a tragedy to us at it wouldn’t be that hard. The Binding of Isaac lifted much of the playbook from the top down twin stick approach but added in randomization, crazier weapons, and even promised coop play but that was largely underdeveloped. This wouldn’t be a hard thing to recreate and it’s time we got another chance to take down 80s most notorious final boss, Mr. Big. Besides, the conceit of a world that relishes a macabre game show like Smash TV seems oddly fitting for a Trump America. Lean into it!
Goonies never die, they just age into obscurity. Yes, we’ve long abandoned the ill-conceived pipedream of a Spielberg / Donner sequel to Goonies (you know it would be just awful). But there’s no reason why the adventures of Mikey, Data, Mouth, and Chunk couldn’t be told as a game.
Arcade’s The Goonies that largely appeared in those bizarre Playchoice units was indeed weird but set the tone for the far superior Goonies 2 on NES that somehow still holds up today. While the movie excised outlandish things like the octopus fight the game went full tilt featuring fire breathing lizard people and, well, a mermaid. None of that mattered though as the combination of action platforming and adventure worked and the 8-bit recreation of Cindy Lauper’s “Good Enough” still has yet to get out of our heads. This feels particularly timely after the wild success of Stranger Things which proved there’s an appetite for stories about kids in the 80s teaming up to stop forces the adults don’t understand.
We’re going way back with this one but we’d argue there are a few gamers of a certain age that would be intrigued by an update to this long dead series. The original NES title introduced the second most infamous cheat code (behind the Konami code but ahead of Mortal Kombat’s blood code for the Genesis) and was a surprisingly long-winded but awesome couch coop experience for the NES. It spawned a few sequels but perhaps the most interesting trivia about this game is that the Japanese version was called Guerrilla War and starred Che Guevara and Fidel Castro… Yes, seriously.
Broforce reminded us a lot of Ikari Warriors with the jungle war zone backdrop and testosterone-filled carnage, but felt as though coop was an afterthought as it was incredibly hard to keep the world together long enough for both players to reach that chopper. There’s still room for a true successor to Ikari Warriors to show up, provide hours of mindless fun, and, yes, still let us keep going with a basic “ABBA”-style cheat code.
What other long forgotten franchise would you like to see come back? Let us know below!